6 Steps to More Effective Performance Reviews

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What do better performance reviews mean? Performance reviews are critical to retention, and 85% of employees would consider leaving their company over an unfair performance review. It’s clear that performance reviews are not something to rush through. If you haven’t thought about your performance review process in a while, don’t worry. Here’s all the tips you need to make sure this year’s reviews go smoothly, and are as effective as possible.

How to have effective performance reviews

1. Set up for success

Performance reviews are one part of an ongoing process where managers and employees regularly communicate about:

⦁ What the employee is expected to do in their job role

⦁ Whether the employee is meeting those expectations

⦁ Measures the employee can take to improve

It can be difficult to give a successful review if you haven’t established clear benchmarks and measures of success, or you’ve been out of touch with the employee too long and can’t remember what was supposed to get done. Regular check-ins help you stay on track throughout the review period and make it easier to manage an effective performance review when the time comes. If you keep up with progress along the way, the actual review becomes more efficient.

2. Document everything

When it comes to a formal performance review, document important performance-related events and stick to the timeline. If you have lots of supporting documents in your review process, keep them secure and organized. That way, when it’s time for your one-to-one, you have everything in one place and can focus on what matters – your employee.

Documenting your performance management measures can help protect you from potential liabilities as well.

3. Take turns speaking

Performance reviews, by nature, make people nervous. The way management handles them usually doesn’t help. Remember that reviews are just important conversations where both sides gather and discuss feedback. Just like a conversation, information should flow back and forth in turns. If a manager treats a performance review like an interrogation or a presentation, then the employee isn’t as engaged, and the review is much less effective.

4. Give fair feedback

Getting hung up on one mistake can ruin an otherwise productive review. It’s not good for either side to focus on only the negative things. Always give balanced feedback: praise the good, don’t dwell on the bad, and give constructive criticism on how to improve.

5. Identify real issues

If an employee feels like there are circumstances outside their control that are affecting job performance, you need to find out what’s really going on. Keep it conversational, and ask questions that will help you both get to the root of the problems. It’s not enough to just know about the issues; you need to understand them in order to solve them.

6. Review the review itself

If your employee doesn’t leave a performance review with a sense of accomplishment and direction, you’re doing something wrong. It’s important to not only assess the employee, but yourself, and the review process as well. This is the only way to make continuous improvements. So, take some time to evaluate yourself and the review process, and give your employees the chance to do the same, if possible.


Goals make each employee’s job more meaningful and help to keep your team on track. So make your objectives clear, give comprehensive performance reviews, and have regular check-ins all year long to stay updated. Above all, just communicate.


Need help managing your employees? Contact the DynamicHR team for HR expertise.

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